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Athletes Foot (Tinea Pedis)
Athletes Foot on an Arch

Definition: This is a skin disease caused by a fungus.
It appears commonly in three types: Sogginess of skin and peeling in-between toes. Eruptions of small white or red blisters on soles and sides of feet. Dry skin, redness and scaling on soles of feet. All above may itch and therefore become sore, if scratched will spread more rapidly.
Tinea Pedis is infectious and thrives where there is moisture and darkness, therefore, the foot in a shoe is an ideal breeding area.

1. Avoid nylon socks and plastic shoes. Use natural materials, e.g. leather or canvass for shoes, cotton or wool for socks. Do not wear the same pair of shoes for two days running.
2. Wash feet regularly using soap and water. Dry thoroughly using a personal towel. Swab surgical spirit between toes after bathing.
3. Use recommended products for the infection, taking the advice of a Chiropodist. However most ‘Athletes Foot’ treatments sold these days are effective in 3 out of 4 infections. (If the product chosen has not worked after 1 week, simply try another make).
4. Be aware that the infection can be picked up in swimming pools, showers, baths at home or at work. Sauna’s and Steam Rooms are particularly likely to encourage this condition.
What type you choose will be dictated by the site of infection and your convenience. Bear in mind that the product will normally need to be applied twice a day, for three weeks!
Creams - ideal on soles, arches and heels, only if you can reach. Some creams may cause clamminess between toes, so do check first before purchasing.
Liquids - suitable to be directly painted anywhere on unbroken skin, economical, but very fiddle to use, and you need to be able to reach your feet quite well.
Powders - messy, can cause ‘mud pies’ in between toes. Useful though for those who cannot reach their feet easily.
Sprays - smelly and wasteful, however so easy to use this type is the treatment of choice by many people.
Many nail and skin conditions that appear on first inspection to be caused by a fungus, may be a symptom of another condition.
Laboratory tests are required to specifically ascertain which organism (if any) is the problem. This can take weeks and is expensive. Treating ‘Athletes Foot’ usually clears the problem before we know specifically the cause!
Referral to a Dermatologist by your G.P. can be advisable in rare cases.

Complications :-
Athletes Foot should always be treated as the fungus can spread causing unsightly discoloration and thickening of the toenails. This is very difficult to deal with.


Toenail Fungal Infection (Onychomycosis)
Fungi are often present in low numbers within nails as a harmless resident. Sometimes conditions within our shoes are so favourable to fungi (dark
warm and moist), that numbers increases to the point where this becomes unwelcome.
Affected Nail Appearance :-   Usually brown, crumbly, thick, and uneven. Has a dank odour.
Treatment for a Big Toenail :-   Either paint a liquid fungicide onto the nail twice daily for 18 months until appearance is normal. Or daily for 3 months using terbinafine* take a fungal antibiotic tablet (18 months daily using Griseofulvin).
The liquids are far from guaranteed to be successful, particularly as it is easy to miss one days treatment. The tablets have medical contraindications associated with them, and are ‘Prescription only’ you will need to discuss this option with your own G.P. 

*Lamisil is a trademark of ‘Sandoz’
Fungus in a Nail


Produced by: Jonathan D. Lees D.Pod.M., M.C.Pod.
Stourbridge (01384) 390000
Surgery Address: 37 High Street, Amblecote, Stourbridge, West Midlands DY8 4DG

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This page last edited 18.08.2020© Copyright J. Lees